The King is dead: Long live the King! The rise of the Hypershoe

I want to start this little homily with a controversial statement.

The Supershoe is dead, gone… soooo yesterday!

And before I justify this obvious attention seeking statement, I want to briefly talk about another industry that has travelled a parrallel path.

Until quite recently, those of us interested in motorcars would pore over photos of cars we could never hope to own, a small speck of dribble in one corner of the mouth.. these, were the so called Supercars.

They still exist, and they are still fast and beautiful, and in many cases rare.

But their wow factor has now been well and truly usurped by a new category of machine, the Hypercar.

What’s the difference I hear you ask?

Well, this is a supercar

It is a Ferrari California T and they made 7900 of them globally. To put this into perspective, 343,439 Toyota Camry’s were sold in just the USA in 2018.

The Ferrari California T is without question a Supercar.

Now, THIS is a Hypercar


This is the Pagani Huayra.. and only 100 of them have been and ever will be made.

It is much faster, much more expensive, much rarer, and much more technical than the Ferrari California T Supercar. And THIS is what makes the Pagani a Hypercar.

Hypercars are designed to perform as highly as possible, as their name suggests. Unlike a hypercar, a supercar is designed to go fast when you sit behind the wheel but doesn’t offer much in performance technology. On the other hand, Hypercars have built-in performance data recorders that give you insight into your vehicle.

And so it will be with Hypershoes!

You may have noticed that we have now reached a nexus with the so called Supershoes.

The one that started it all in 2016, the original Nike Vaporfly 4% is staring to show its age.

And the latest iteration, The Nike Alphafly Next %2 has not really set the industry on fire with either performance or innovation.

Many runner prefer the original, 6 year old Vaporfly 4%.

And more, it is now almost passe to talk about Supershoes, because every man and his hound has a pair, and just about every serious (and some not so serious) running shoe brand has their version of a “Supershoe”.

  • they all have a carbon fibre plate or similar
  • they all have masses of “technical” foam
  • they ALL have a well defined rocker

And now, unfortunately, after all the excitement has died down, we may well be entering a period similar to what we endured pre 2016. A time of footwear trends devoid of innovation and mired in mediocrity and blandness…

until that is.. we have the world’s very first true Hypershoe!

What will it look like.. what will it do, when will it drop?

Well that is for another discussion, but what I can tell you is that it will break world records (fast), be very hard to get hold of (rare), it will cost a LOT of money (expensive), it will have stuff in the shoe you have not even thought of yet (technical) .. all the features we see in a Hypercar!

What you need to know is that people like me, who work in the design, innovation and research space for athletic footwear, work in the future. We are penning designs 2-4 years in the future.

Oh to be a fly on the wall of the inner sanctum of Nike’s design suite to see what they have coming..but be certain.. it will be a Hypershoe!

Meantime, take a look at gun shoe designer Richard Kuchinsky’s excellent design website and blog, The Directive Collective, for his thoughts on the inevitable rise of.. The Hypershoe

Standby for more on this juicy topic!


Written by

Simon Bartold

Director and Founder

Bartold Clinical


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